Minnesota United vs. Los Angeles Galaxy MLS Odds, Picks, Prediction, Preview (August 14)
Shaun Clark/Getty Images. Pictured: Manager Greg Vanney of the Los Angeles Galaxy.
- Minnesota United hosts the Los Angeles Galaxy on Saturday in Major League Soccer action.
- The Galaxy have held their own despite missing star Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez, who has been battling a calf injury.
- Ian Quillen breaks down the match below and explains why he's found betting value on Los Angeles in this key showdown.
Minnesota vs. LA Galaxy Odds
|LA Galaxy Odds||+390|
|Over/Under||2.5 (-177 / +135)|
|Day | Time||Saturday | 6 p.m. ET|
|How To Watch||FOX | fuboTV|
|Odds updated Friday evening via DraftKings.|
Minnesota United look to keep closing the gap between themselves and the top of the Western Conference when they host the Los Angeles Galaxy on national TV on Saturday in Major League Soccer action.
The Loons have only lost once since beginning the campaign with four consecutive defeats. In the process, they've scaled from the bottom of the conference table up to fifth entering the weekend's matches.
Meanwhile, third-place Los Angeles hasn't let Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez's eight-game absence put a dent into their table position.
The Galaxy have earned a respectable 11 points without him, keeping their footing in a race for the conference's top spot that has actually tightened since their leading scorer hit the shelf with a calf injury.
Minnesota Getting Solid Season From Finnish Star
The Loons have been remarkably consistent offensively for a team yet to experience a true breakout.
Minnesota has scored twice in four consecutive matches, as well as at least once in 14 of its last 15 games. And the club even found the net in two games in its season-opening, four-game funk.
Yet, despite adding attackers Ramon Abila, Franco Fragapane and Adrien Hunou, it has been Finnish international Robin Lod who's putting together a career year with six goals and three primary assists to date.
Lod and defender Brett Kallman scored in the Loons' 2-0 victory over Houston last weekend to push their unbeaten home run to seven games and home winning streak to three as well.
Even with their strong performances after a slow start, Minnesota is underperforming its expected goals by 4.6 this season.
Los Angeles Filling Hole in Chicharito's Absence
Chicharito's absence has forced the Galaxy to go about a chore they needed to complete anyway in developing alternative scoring options.
On the night Chicharito was scratched late for a July 4 home match against Sporting Kansas City, he was responsible for 10 of his club's 17 goals. The rest of the roster has picked up the pace since with 12, including the first in MLS for Rayan Raveloson, Kevin Cabral and Samuel Grandsir.
Chicharito has been upgraded to questionable to return against Minnesota, though manager Greg Vanney said there was still a chance he would remain in Los Angeles rather than fly to the Midwest for this contest.
Midfielder Victor Vazquez is also questionable and more likely to make a return off the bench after an injury spell. And new striker signing Dejan Joveljic should also make the traveling squad.
The Galaxy have a +1 goal difference, while xG numbers suggest it should be around -3 so far. One reason for Los Angeles' lofty place in the standings? The club has avoided draws, with only two on the season.
Betting Analysis & Pick
Minnesota's home form is impressive.
And in a league where the host side wins just under 49% of the time, the Loons are favored at -137 odds and an implied 57.8% probability. That form, as well as xG data, suggests they're slightly better than Los Angeles.
Dig a little deeper, though, and neither holds up so well.
With Vanney in his first year in charge, the Galaxy should be judged with a heavier eye toward their recent results than evenly across the season.
Four of Los Angeles' highest xG created totals have come in this eight-game stretch without Chicharito, compared to only two of their highest xG allowed totals. That's an indication of a team in growth mode.
Add that Chicharito and Vazquez could return, Jovelvic could debut and Sebastian Lletget, Jonathan dos Santos and Efrain Alvarez have all returned from CONCACAF Gold Cup duty, and Los Angeles isn't getting the respect they deserve here.
Take the Galaxy at +0.5 goals on an Asian Handicap at +115 odds , with the 46.5% implied probability.
Pick: Los Angeles +0.5 (+115)